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Boom despite the Gloom

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Simon Cooper, Deputy Chairman and CEO, HSBC Middle East & North Africa, discusses the past year and reinforcing its position as a leading international bank.

May 22, 2012 2:15 by



For us in MENA that means we will focus investment on key growth markets where we can achieve scale and returns – specifically KSA, Egypt and the UAE; strengthen our position as a leading in­ternational trade and business bank; and focus on serving the growing need for wealth management in the region, which, as an international bank, we are uniquely positioned to do.

There has long been talk of a need for consolidation in the UAE banking in­dustry. Do you believe that the gov­ernment/regulator can take steps to push that process? Do we need to have consolidation to have a more secure banking sector?

A healthy banking sector needs the right number of financial institutions to serve the population, local and expat, business and trade flows, and national development. It is true that overcrowd­ing can lead to imbalance, risking a “flooding” of the system, which may increase competition.

However, although regulatory in­tervention is an option, it is not neces­sarily the preferred one and it requires political will and commitment. In my view, voluntary rather than artificial consolidation is a more sustainable so­lution.



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